3 inch Ordnance piece

3inch 3in Ordnance piece rear view (Civil War)

Above: Click onto the photograph above to see the 3 Inch Ordnance Piece firing a live shell

The 3 Inch Ordnance Rifle is similar in size and performance to the 10 Pdr. Parrott.  Both are rifled tubes mounted on the Number 1 Carriage.  Unlike the Parrott the Ordnance Piece had no need for breech banding.  This is due to the fact that the Ordnance piece was manufactured by hammer forging multiple pieces of iron stock into a single tube.  This iron stock material apparently resembled “Rebar”.  The technique for producing the Ordnance Rifle must have been similar to the “Damascus Process” for making shotgun and rifle barrels. The result of this effort was a gun tube that was far more reliable than the 10 Pdr. Parrott.  The reputation of the two pieces was quite different, with the Ordnance tubes almost never being known to burst. The Phoenixville Ordnance Works in Pennsylvania exclusively produced the Ordnance Rifle.
Our 3 Inch Ordnance Rifle is an early piece, manufactured in 1861.  These early tubes did not have the typical muzzle markings.  Instead, there are marks on the trunnion shoulder only visible with the cap-square removed.

Our Ordnance piece is mounted on a reproduction Number 1 Carraige with correct wheels.  The regulation color for the woodwork is olive drab with the iron work painted black

3 inch Ordnance Piece (American Civil War)

The sights for the Ordnance piece are a blade sight mounted on the muzzle and a pendulum hausse sight mounted on the breech.  This pendulum hausse sight is a bottom weighted brass sight hung on a mount that allows it to swing. In this way, the sight stays level.  The sight is graduated for varying ranges and is adjusted in the same way as an infantryman’s rifle sight. The Ordnance piece has an maximum range1850 yards

3 Inch Sight




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All images, research, and text are sole property of Ralph Lovett.